And ok, ‘Lisa’ and ‘Dave’ are not real-life Lisa and Dave (please let them not be real-life Lisa and Dave). They are either two cutesy meta-characters in the novel, or two highly-performative people who know they’re being watched. Most of my Monopoly money is on the former. So they write these emails to each other between each chapter all What ho! I one-up you! Also, fond and/or snarky reminisce of our relationship-times! And you are like, Whatever.
But the novel they are WRITING, you say. What of THAT. So Lacey and Paul are siblings, living together after the death of their parents and growing weed and drifting through life and discovering a headless body on their property. Which they then move to Elsewhere to prevent an investigation (due to aforementioned weed) but which is creepily replaced on their property later. Urg.
They live in a backwater nowhere, so everyone is kind of like, Dead body, hey? Lacey investigates while Paul drinks and both Lisa and Dave throw new characters and clues wantonly into the mix because neither of them know where the story is going, and both of them are secretly kind of trying to sabotage the other’s storyline, which is how a good handful of characters end up dead.
And that, alright. Those parts are good. Like, Lisa is all, Make your chapters end more SHEBANGILY! So Dave ends a chapter with a random small-plane explosion, and then Lisa is like, I’m going to let you explain that one, but he doesn’t, and CONTINUES to not even though Lisa is like, Remember that small plane? And eventually in one of Lisa’s chapters this guy is like, ‘A plane crashes and nobody knows who it was or why?…Isn’t that strange?’ And Lacey is like, ‘Yes it is…It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.’ And then ‘Their conversation ended there bcause nothing else could be said.’ Passive aggressive literary STABS, you are so droll.
The ‘novel’ itself is a semi-gripping mystery, losing something because you KNOW that the authors DON’T know where it’s going, but then gaining something because you get to see how the tickers tock. There are bits (like the above) that would baffle and annoy you if you took the murder mystery as a stand-alone. The writing is sort of bad, there’s a lot of ‘the burning pieces started raining down’ and ‘Paul started scurrying towards the trees’ when ‘the burning pieces rained’ and ‘Paul scurried’ are more succinct and less a story told by a nine-year-old. And at one point ‘[w]hile driving, Lacey unlaced her shoes and slowed the car’ even though ‘slowed the car’ implies ‘while driving,’ rendering that first clause redundant. And half of you are like, Bish, please, but it’s little things like this that KEEEEL me mentally, and it always takes me about a third of the book to realize that this is the sort of slight mess it’s going to be, and to send my Inner Editor out for a whisky because that guy cannot shut up.
On the whole, it’s entertaining. Man, there is no way to convey Caveat-Voice on the intertubes. I mean, yeahhhh, it was entertaaaaaaining…Elipses, you almost do it. I do wish Lisa and Dave’s exchanges weren’t so full of Retorts and Smart-Aleckry For Your LOLling Pleasure, but whatever. Everyone’s comedy coat has a different lining (what?).